Planning an international vacation on a budget can be a little challenging, but the good news is there are lots of things you can do to bring the price of travel down to a more reasonable level. You can plan the trip of your dreams without spending more than you have to if you are strategic about your itinerary and look for opportunities to save. Here are five savvy travel tips to make your money go farther on your next trip.
1. Travel During the Quiet Season
One of the best ways to save big time on your next vacation is to plan a trip around the quiet, shoulder season to your destination. In most vacation spots, there are busy times of the year, such as summer, holidays, or festivals, and there are other, quieter times where prices take a big dive.
Hotel prices, airfare, and even excursions can be much cheaper if you schedule them during these quiet times. Best of all, you’ll experience fewer crowds and less traffic during your trip.
2. Consider Going to Places Off the Beaten Path
Another way to spend less on your next big trip is to choose your destination a little more strategically. Traveling to the most popular vacation spots in the world means you’ll be paying a premium. Instead, opt for travel destinations that aren’t as well known, such as Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, or smaller, quieter cities in countries like France, Italy, Spain, or Great Britain.
While you won’t find the biggest attractions at some of these spots, you can still experience an amazing vacation. You’ll also save a lot more due to less demand and discover places your friends and family may not have heard about.
3. Live Like a Local
It’s also more economical to travel as if you’re a local resident of the area you’re visiting. Living like a local instead of a tourist can help you avoid the priciest tourist traps.
When you travel in this style, you’ll get out of your comfort zone and leave the high-priced tourist area that isn’t as authentic. Living like a local means staying in an apartment in one of the local neighborhoods instead of dealing with a hotel. You can also choose to take public transportation to save more money and eat only at the hidden spots populated by residents instead of visitors.
4. Use a Dedicated Service for Currency Exchanges
When you’re traveling to an international destination, you also have to worry about currency exchange. You can save more of your dollars by taking advantage of convenient currency exchange services like Sharemoney. Avoid going to the currency exchange at the airport once you arrive so you don’t pay extra for fees and a terrible rate.
Doing a little research will allow you to get the best exchange rates in countries like Colombia. Then, you can make your vacation budget cover a lot more of your expenses, such as food, lodging, souvenirs, and experiences.
5. Use Reward Programs and Frequent Flyer Miles
The last essential tip for budget travelers is to sign up for as many reward programs as possible. Most hotels and airlines have frequent traveler programs that reward you for repeat business. Some companies offer credit card sign up bonuses when you first join their program, giving you thousands of reward points right off the bat.
If you sign up for more than one program and earn multiple bonuses, you could earn free flights, free hotels stays, room upgrades, and much more. This could allow you to stretch your budget and experience more fun at your destination.
Traveling on a dime can still be an amazing experience if you’re smart with your money. You can spend your budget wisely and save more than other tourists by following these tips and doing your homework before you leave for your next trip.